9 October 1998

Operetta

al fresco

by the sea

CORNWALL FWC took a coach trip to Porthcurno to see Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Societys production of HMS Pinafore at the open-air theatre. I had arranged to meet them there, ambitiously saying that I would walk along the cliffs from Penzance.

Luckily a little sense was instilled into me by the tourist information official and I caught the bus as far as Treen. Luck was with me again when I came across the village shop selling pasties, ideal for a picnic on the beach.

A short walk along the only footpath that was actually marked, although others were shown on the map, and I descended to the car park to find the bright red coach that had conveyed the Cornish members, most of them from the north of the county.

Unfortunately it rained at the beginning of the performance but the audience, managed to keep dry with a selection of raincoats, either real or hastily improvised from polythene bags of all shapes and sizes.

The Minack Theatre was built into the cliff in 1929 and performances have the wonderful backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the stone seats are inscribed with the dates and names of performances held in the past.

If you have never been to this beautiful part of the country, maybe you should go next year when a total eclipse of the sun is going to be most visible from this area on Aug 11 at 11am.

Jean Howells